New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) endorsed Donald Trump for President at a press conference in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday afternoon.
Christie said that after more than a decade of friendship between the two families, he was “proud” to endorse the real estate magnate.
“He is rewriting the playbook. He is rewriting the playbook of American politics because he’s providing strong leadership that not dependent on the status quo,” he said.
Christie repeatedly criticized Trump while campaigning, notably calling the businessman “thin-skinned” after Trump decided he would skip a Fox News GOP debate in January.
Despite his once-contentious relationship with Trump, Christie’s real enemy on the trail was Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Their toxic rivalry hit a frenzied peak at that Fox News debate, where Rubio repeated a line about President Barack Obama three times almost verbatim and Christie ripped into him for what he called a “memorized 25-second speech,” giving rise to many a “robot Rubio” joke. Rubio went on to place third in the Iowa caucuses and fifth in the New Hampshire primary.
After about seven months of campaigning, Christie said he thinks Trump is the most qualified.
“I have been on that stage. I have gotten to know all the people on that stage,” he said. “There is no one who is better prepared to provide America with the strong leadership that it needs both at home and around the world than Donald Trump,”
Christie said it was important for Republicans to nominate a candidate who could beat Hillary Clinton, a sentiment he repeated over the course of his own failed presidential bid. Christie suspended his campaign on Feb. 10 after a six-place finish in New Hampshire.
“There is no doubt in my mind and I’ve been saying this right from the time I entered the campaign, that the single most important thing for the Republican Party is to nominate the person who gives us the best chance to beat Hillary Clinton,” Christie said. “I can guarantee you that the one person that Hillary and Bill Clinton do not want to see on that stage come next September is Donald Trump.”
Todd Harris, a senior adviser to Rubio, told reporters that Trump “can’t put a coherent noun and verb together.”
‘@dtoddharris: Trump “can’t put a coherent noun and verb together to explain [policies & failed businesses] so he had to bring in Christie.”
— Alexandra Jaffe (@ajjaffe) February 26, 2016